Singlish has become the word of the tongue in Singapore. Walk along any street in Singapore, it is inevitable that you will hear someone speaking Singlish. Singlish, being one local feature of Singapore, is a language compromising of English-based language mixed with Chinese dialects as well was a few Malay. It has unmistakably brought some negative impacts on the process of speaking Standard English in Singapore, however, I do not think banning it is necessary now.
Firstly, Singlish has already become a trademark of Singapore. It is already treated as a national identity of Singapore having been used for many many years. Besides, Singlish, being a unique mix of English and dialects, is a unique language found in Singapore, and only Singapore. Singlish has already has its roots deep in Singpore. Who are we to remove this national identity and ban Singlish? In addition to this, other countries also have their variations of English just like Singlish. Singlish is a different version of English – just like the Scottish, Irish, Welsh, American (several different versions), Jamaican, Australian and New Zealand versions. Who are we then to say Singlish cannot be accepted whilst these languages can?
Next, Singlish, to Singaporeans, is the basic medium of communicating with one another. Singlish is widely spoken in our everyday lives. As Singlish is a language is the language which most Singaporeans understand, it is the language that gets the point across the most. Therefore, Singlish has already become a bridge between the people in Singapore. Singlish is also used often for casual chats. It feels more intimate and it is something closer to our hearts by some turn of cultural evolution. Take a look at MSN chats or SMS(es) in particular. Singlish is used so often in these mediums just because it is an easier way of communication. Therefore, we should not break this medium of communication by banning the use of Singlish.
In addition, it would be extremely difficult to ban the use of Singlish in Singapore. Being an endemic language that has developed for decades, Singlish has deeply rooted in Singapore. In Singapore people from different occupations all use Singlish. Stall owners use Singlish to communicate with customers, workers, students and even teachers tend to use Singlish. Since such a high proportion of citizens has got used to this language, it will not be a piece of cake to restrict them from using it. Force through an unwelcome policy will only bring disasters. Thus, it is never easy to ban Singlish without causing other problems.
On the flipside, people worry about how Singlish affects the way Singaporeans communicate. It is often argued the Singlish causes Singapore’s standard of English to drop. Since Singapore is an international country, we must know how to communicate well with people from other countries, and Singlish is preventing us from doing so. However, this is not the case for most people. As long as we exercise control over when to and when not to use Singlish. One obviously knows it is only right to speak proper English in a business meeting, and speak Singlish only when communicating with friends. Therefore, Singlish would not affect Singaporeans’ communication with people from other countries as long as we know how to exercise control of when to use Singlish.
In conclusion, Singlish should not be banned in Singapore. This is because Singlish is an effective way of communication among Singaporeans and it serves as a national identity to Singaporeans.
Courtney from Study Moose
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